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MBB Game Day Central: Radford
Liberty looks to bounce back from back-to-back losses, when it begins conference play, Wednesday at Radford. The Flames closed out the 2012-13 regular season with a 73-56 win over the Highlanders in the Dedmon Center, kick starting a five-game win streak that culminated in Liberty's third Big South Championship and NCAA appearance. While Radford leads the all-time series, 32-30, the Highlanders will look to halt a five-game home losing skid against the Flames. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m., with the contest airing live on the Liberty Flames Sports Network, MASN, ESPN3 and the Big South Network.
Injury Report - According to head coach Dale Layer, redshirt senior forward Antwan Burrus is questionable at best for Wednesday's game after suffering back spasms during Liberty's contest at Delaware. Burrus did not play in Saturday's matchup versus Princeton. The Winterville, N.C., native currently has 960 points for his Liberty career and leads the Flames in scoring this season, averaging 13.9 ppg.
Go Gielo Go - Tomasz Gielo continues to cement himself as a key player in the Flames' offense. The Polish player is the Flames' leading scorer over the last five games, averaging 14.8 ppg during the span. Gielo is coming off a career-high 20-point performance during Saturday's game versus Princeton.
Keeping up with the Sanders - John Caleb Sanders is four points away from 1,200 for his Liberty career. The senior is coming off a season-high 25 points, Saturday, marking the first time he has led the Flames in scoring during a game, this season.
Brushing it off - After averaging 3.0 ppg and going 3-of-25 from the field (2-of-12 from three-point land) during games against Furman, Southeastern (Fla.) and Delaware, Davon Marshall bounced back in Saturday's game versus Princeton. After a scoreless first half, Marshall went 4-of-7 from three-point range in the second and added a free throw to finish with 13 points.
Notes and Anecdotes
- Prior to serving alongside Mike Jones on Shaka Smart's staff at VCU, current Radford assistant coach Kyle Getter was an assistant coach at Liberty during the 2008-09 season. Getter joined the staff, replacing Dale Layer, who left the Hill City for one year before returning as Liberty's head coach the following season.
- Since the series began on Jan. 28, 1975, Liberty and Radford have squared off 62 times, making the Highlanders the Flames' most common opponent in program history. Sitting in second is Charleston Southern, with 56 total games against the Flames.
- Six of Liberty's eight wins inside the Dedmon Center have occurred within the last seven years. The Flames have won the last five meetings inside the facility. Liberty has not lost in the Dedmon Center since dropping a narrow 89-88 decision on Feb. 2, 2008.
- Through the first 15 games, this season, Liberty and Radford share one common opponent. The Flames played Hampton in Corpus Christi, Texas on Nov. 29, defeating the Pirates, 70-53. Radford squared off with the MEAC member on Saturday, falling to Hampton on the road, 87-60.
- Liberty is still in search of its first true road win, this season. The Flames are 0-6 in road games, but are 2-0 on a neutral court, picking up a pair of wins at the Corpus Christi Challenge (Nov. 29-30). Liberty's first road win last season occurred on Dec. 31, 2012 at Western Carolina.
- Liberty has won the rebounding battle the last 10 games, outrebounding its opponents 394-286 and averaging 39.4 rebounds during the span.